There comes a time in the race when the underdog senses they can win, and that time is now. What does the establishment do when an outsider provides what the people really want? In the case of the 2013 ANCIENT PEAKS Cabernet Sauvignon, the outsider is from Paso Robles, California. And what the people want is a 15-dollar Cab that tastes great. There is excellent quality here for the price—purity and freshness you so rarely find in this price category, and a wine that doesn’t taste manipulated in any way, even rarer to find. And would you believe this is a single-vineyard estate Cab? That’s crazy. Also, there’s no harsh edges to be found, and the mouthfeel is very pleasant—soft and supple. And anybody who doesn’t enjoy the ripe and subtly sweet flavors of blackberry, Bing cherries and chocolate in this Cab, well, they probably just don’t like Cab. So, what’s the catch? Okay, so it’s a straightforward wine but flawlessly so. People who look for a $15 Cabernet are willing to overlook that missing element of complexity. It tastes really good, they say . . . you got a problem with that?
Back to the question of, what does the establishment do when the outsider gives the people what they really want? Like we’re seeing in presidential politics, the establishment fights like hell to stay in power. That is, until they realize the party has changed. –J.M.